Jaap Haagmans The all-round IT guy

28Dec/130

Stop developing apps – NOW!

I don't know if I'm alone in this, but I'm getting tired of companies and governments launching expensive apps to get their message through. If it's up to me, we're at the very end of the app-era.

Of course, app developers would disagree and I'm not really being fair with this title (but hey, titles are evil, everyone knows that), because I'm not really talking about every kind of app. Mobile gaming is the best example of legitimate app development. Still, I think I'm being generous if I say less than 20% of all apps have real value.

What I am talking about are native apps that don't provide any kind of content or functionality a website could. Small hotels and restaurants developing reservation apps that cost tens of thousands of dollars (or euros) are just throwing money down the drain. Or a local business launching an app with opening hours and directions (yes, I've seen this). But more importantly, I've seen businesses that don't have a proper mobile site, but do have an iPhone app (no Android though, because that's too expensive). I don't want your app that I'm going to use only once, I don't (well, I do, but I don't want to) have an iphone, I just want to see where you are and if you sell what I'm looking for!

Especially to the last kind of business (which is a bigger group than you think): don't try to get on the bandwagon and be "hip". Invest time in your website, make sure it functions properly on a PC, tablet and phone (the term you might want to embrace is "responsive design"). If you then still have money left, I'd strongly encourage you to NOT THROW IT INTO SOME KIND OF STUPID APP!!!